Art gets hot with those who dare

28 May 2015

A new story for arts and culture is bubbling to the surface on the Gold Coast and it’s evident in a one-of-a-kind event firmly focused on the future and set to fuel invention, imagination and ideas from 26 to 28 June.

The City backed event, 2970° The Boiling Point, aims to uncover a new way of looking at the world by bringing together future thinkers from the arts, science, technology, architecture, politics and sport.

2970° curator David Pledger, director of pioneering interdisciplinary arts company, not yet it’s difficult (NYID), contends the conversations happening now around the arts and culture are unique to the Gold Coast.

“I think that the Gold Coast is probably the most exciting city in Australia to be an artist,” he said.

“The constraints and traditions that usually suffocate artists in other cities are actually not present here. The cultural infrastructure has the potential to grow with artists’ trajectories rather than stifle them. It’s really a brilliant opportunity for the artists who are here, but also for Australian culture in general.”

Mr Pledger has spent a lot of time on the Gold Coast over the past year helping to develop the local artist ecology through round table workshops and as part of the Über Mentorship program. 2970º provides an opportunity for him to engage with a broader spectrum of Gold Coast’s creative community. He explained the genesis of the name.

“It’s the boiling point for gold, extreme heat catalyses the metal causing it to melt. Art can have this transformational effect when applied to society and we’ll explore this concept,” Mr Pledger said.

“Taking centre stage is Stelarc, one of Australia’s legendary artists known for his performance art and most famously, surgically constructing an extra ear on his arm. Stelarc’s work focuses heavily on extending the capabilities of the human body and explores the space where art and technology meet.

“Joining him is Dr Daniel Glaser, a neuroscientist who has worked to promote public engagement with science. As Director of Science Gallery London, a new space where art and science collide, he is well placed to add another dimension to the discussions,” he said.

The five keynote speakers will present ideas as provocations accompanied by an exhibition and performance program and conversations. A group of artists and cultural operators from the Gold Coast and surrounding region will then respond to the material from the keynote presentations and process those meanings for themselves, their local context and broader social contexts.

The respondents include local visual artists, writers, photographers, videographers and other cultural curators including director of Bleach* Festival, Louise Bezzina, local author, Tim Baker, and award-winning artist, Chris Bennie.

2970° is part of a wider strategic direction to accelerate the development of the arts and culture and position the Gold Coast as a place that is distinct, pioneering and unexpected in its cultural offer. Underway for more than a year the roll out of the City’s Culture Strategy 2023 has included increased arts funding, an elevation of Indigenous culture, development of contemporary music and public art plans and new approaches to professional development and funding models.

The creative minds on the Gold Coast have found a champion in City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

“For me backing the arts and culture sector in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games is a simple decision. It creates another dimension to our economy, drives visitor growth and provides our local creatives with mentoring opportunities and more ways for them to explore their art and their ideas,” Mayor Tate said.

“We’re open for business and that includes arts and culture. Our cultural vision is about elevating the sector and incubating excellence, for arts organisations and practitioners the Gold Coast is the place to be.

“We’re embracing the opportunity to lead the way nationally by supporting artists to take risks, develop new and sustainable business models and generate leading cultural product. 2970° The Boiling Point is set to further accelerate culture on the Gold Coast,” he said.

Art gets hot with those who dare photo